Arts residency program brings African beats, culture to Shutesbury school

JERREY ROBERTS Shutesbury Elementary School pre-kindergarten students perform during recent African drumming and dancing show at the school.

JERREY ROBERTS
Shutesbury Elementary School pre-kindergarten students perform during recent African drumming and dancing show at the school.

SHUTESBURY, MA — Though West Africa is an ocean away, distance has proven to be no obstacle for the students and faculty of Shutesbury Elementary School (Shaftesbury, Massachusetts), who spent five days this month learning traditional African drumming, dancing and language as part of the school’s “artist-in-residency” program.

The program, led by Marilyn and Sekou Sylla of the Shutesbury-based world beat group Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, culminated in a performance by the students in front of a packed house in the school’s auditorium Dec. 19, which featured songs and dances from Senegal, Mali, Liberia, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and Sekou’s home country of Guinea.

As the students took to the stage — clad in…read more on Amherstbulletin.com

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